At Dream Team Prosthetics, we have developed a customized treatment protocol that has proven to be very effective for individuals with bilateral above knee limb loss. We treat bilateral above knee patients that travel to us from all across the United States and from around the world. We are proud to offer our annual Bilateral Life Camp event to any individual with bilateral lower extremity limb loss. The next Bilateral Life Camp will be April 16-18, 2020.
Our team has literally fit hundreds of bilateral above knee amputees that are now thriving in their daily life with their prosthetic devices. Many of our bilateral above knee patients have shared their stories with us about how they were treated with "traditional methods" causing them to struggle to regain their mobility. This creates much frustration and disappointment that ultimately can result with full-time wheelchair use. Many bilateral above knee amputees are interested in being fully functional with prosthetics, but unfortunately, most have had an unsatisfactory first experience and did not know what was possible with being a full-time prosthetic user.
Our goal is to provide bilateral above knee amputees with our unique treatment protocol as well as connecting them with peer support so they can understand what is possible. The work is difficult but our patients tell us the results are undeniably worth it. The protocols that we have developed are firmly rooted in observing functional milestones, as this is the unique difference for each bilateral above knee amputee. Each individual has their own challenges to overcome and reaching functional milestones will occur at different times for different people.
We created a specific website to provide resources and information for individuals with bilateral above knee limb loss. Please visit TeamBilateral.com for more information.
It is estimated that a bilateral above knee amputee will use 300% to 500% more energy just to walk across a flat surface using prosthetic legs. Therefore, to have maximum functional ability, it requires maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The higher your body weight, the more difficult it will be to utilize bilateral above knee prosthetics. Core strength is also a key to efficiently manage your daily life. We encourage all of our bilateral above knee prosthetic users to maintain a consistent and healthy body weight in order to manage the fit of the prosthetics during routine daily activities.
The foundation for your success depends on the design and fit of the prosthetic sockets. Our philosophy is to keep the sockets as simple and streamlined as possible. The more components are added to a socket, the more chance of failure and breakdown. Our patients rely primarily on their sockets, so our socket system is based on reliability to reduce the chance of failure or setbacks. We prefer to use direct skin fit suction sockets when possible in order to provide the best control of the prostheses. With direct skin fit suction sockets, the user can feel sensations up through the prosthesis into their residual limbs for better proprioception.
Many of our patients consider the socket a "protective device" that will provide a level of protection to the limbs, especially when experiencing a fall or when engaged in strenuous athletic endeavors. Learning the correct way to fall is essential for all bilateral above knee amputees. Overcoming the fear of falling is the first step to becoming a full-time prosthetic user. With today's microprocessor knee technology, stability is electronically regulated by the hydraulic yielding, helping to reduce the risk of falling, but it will happen on occasion.
For patients that have developed distal end bearing ability, we are able to greatly reduce the upper "proximal" socket brim that can be very bothersome for many patients. Most patients tell us that many of their issues with other socket technology are related to the highly intrusive brim that causes them pain, pressure and friction, preventing long term use of the prostheses. Most prosthetists may never treat a bilateral above knee amputee that has the potential to be a highly active and full-time prosthetic user. If they do happen to get a bilateral above knee patient, they usually lack the unique skills and experience necessary to adequately and efficiently treat them so they can reach their full potential.
Our campus features many different daily situations such as ramps, curbs, hills and varying terrain that our patients can practice on during their appointment. This is also another critical component to having a successful outcome. We continue to make adjustments to alignment and programming as the patient develops better skills with using their prostheses.
At Dream Team Prosthetics, we work with multiple bilateral above knee patients every month, making us highly qualified to provide exceptional care to this unique patient population. Since our metrics are based on functional milestones in order to proceed to the next phase of mobility, it is clear to each patient what steps they need to take to get to the next level. You can feel confident that by following our treatment protocol, combined with the appropriate prosthetic technology and education, that you will reach the highest functional level of mobility possible. Commitment is the key to a successful outcome.